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Parish Profile

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I assisted with proofreading and writing the copy for this parish profile. Months prior, I provided art direction that ultimately produced the logo and masthead as shown on this piece.

I assisted with proofreading and writing the copy for this parish profile. Months prior, I provided art direction that ultimately produced the logo and masthead as shown on this piece.


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  • 1. ST THOMAS E P I S C O PA L C H U R C H T E R R A C E PA R K C h u r c h P r of i l e 2 0 0 9 Photo by Lynn Siefgried
  • 2. Photo by John Cascella
  • 3. Who we are St. Thomas is an Episcopal church serving Christ for 134 years in the Cincinnati suburb of Terrace Park. We are looking for our 12th Rector. Currently we have a full-time staff of five, membership of approximately 700, 182 pledging families, an annual budget of $885,000, and average Sunday attendance of 222.
  • 4. Our Strengths We are a “loving, caring, friendly” parish with strong traditions that we value. A significant proportion of us have been members of St Thomas for 30 years or longer. In our parish- wide focus groups, parishioners describe us as having a “long tradition of spirituality” and a How We See “willingness to be transformed.” Ourselves Worship: We offer two Rite 1 and two Rite II services each week, and our music program, with six choirs, offers “wonderful” traditional Anglican music at these services, as well as several special events each year with outside singers and instrumentalists. “We are educated, smart people who give their Education: Starting in 2007, we have an adult education hour between Sunday services. talents to the church.” We also have four new church school programs for children 3-16 which parishioners feel give our children a “solid foundation” in the elements of our faith. “Our ‘plant’ is lovely, Physical Plant: We have a beautiful worship space and a six year old, 10.5 million dol- though not utilized fully lar building (debt-free) that houses our Parish Hall, Church School, Nursery School, a and reflects the honor commercial-grade kitchen, and several sitting rooms and offices. which is felt by the con- gregation for the Lord.” Congregation: As a congregation, we see ourselves as being “resilient, welcoming, and friendly.” The words we use to describe our church and ourselves are “authentic, comfort- able and well intentioned.” “The group is active in various ministries of Outreach: We have several significant, long-term outreach programs: In 1964 we and two service to the larger other churches founded the Interparish Ministry, a local food pantry and social service community.” provider. In 1990, we conceived and financed the building of one hundred town homes for low income families in a nearby rural community. And for 30 years, St. Thomas youth Photo by Lynn Siegfried and accompanying adult volunteers have participated in Mt. TOP, our annual mission trip to rural Tennessee. How we describe ourselves in one word For a fuller list of outreach Wounded and ministries please see Waiting/passive 5% 5% Traditional our expanded Parish Profile In transition 21% 5% on our website Episcopalian www.stthomasepiscopal.org. 5% Well-intentioned 6% Friendly 12% Home 7% Caring Loving 7% 11% The Rev’d. Darby Everhard, our Sr. Associate Rector, Authentic 7% Conservative leading worship. 9% PAGE 2
  • 5. Photo by Lynn Siegfried Our Challenges There is, however, a sense that we have lost energy and momentum at St. Thomas. Since 2004 when our rector of 9 years left, we have had one rector and three interim rectors. Our attendance has diminished annually since 1999. The maintenance of our new build- ing has been a significant drain on our resources as well as a source of controversy among parishioners. Our previous rector was asked to resign. And at this time, we are a parish Tom Long of “Friends of the Groom”. with challenging financial issues. We seek a new rector who will provide invigorating leadership to the parish and bring much needed stability and direction. Worship: Our worship experience is described by some as “one dimensional, and dull.” Others say, “the pews are empty because we offer too many services and they are all alike.” “Too many services– There are significant numbers of us who feel that the music, while beautiful, is too nothing for the high difficult to sing. schoolers and young college age.” Education: Our congregation wants challenging, relevant, adult educa- tion opportunities focusing on “things that pertain to my life.” We want more Bible and prayer study in small-groups. Our program for high school students is widely seen as needing improvement, and there “It is discouraging to see a are many requests for a youth minister. Photo by Lynn Siegfried Another interesting half-full church.” adult education hour. Physical Plant: Our new building is underused and very expensive. We need to use our splendid facility more fully for recruiting new members and to make our presence and our welcome more strongly felt in our surrounding communities. “We need to have more Congregation: Many parishioners feel that “lingering resentment over old wounds, parishioners active.” focusing inward, not outward, and insularity” keep us from moving forward. Outreach: We have many outreach options, but suffer from “volunteer fatigue” because too few people carry the heavy load of volunteering. Overall, our congregation is eager for: • Stable, inspired, leadership and direction. • Our worship to be more joyful, spirit-filled, vital and happy. • New parishioners and the return of those who have left. • Challenging and relevant adult and youth education. • Fuller and more creative use of our new building, especially to make us a more recognized and welcoming presence in the community. PAGE 3
  • 6. Skills and Characteristics We Seek in Our Next Rector • e seek a rector who is, according to our parish-wide survey, a leader (12%), a builder W of congregations (11%), a good preacher (10%), spirit-driven (9%), a youth leader, (9%), and warm (7%). Our Next Rector • We need a inspirational rector who both respects tradition and has experience with multiple liturgies and forms of worship. There is strong feeling that we need more variety, relevance, joy, and energy in our sermons, music and liturgy. However, we have “I would like a rector interested in the care and little experience with alternate liturgies, and so we need a rector who is able to gently growth of this parish– lead the congregation to appreciate a range of worship rituals and structures. not as a stepping stone.” • ith so much change in the last five to seven years, we need an experienced leader W who can help us create a focused, energetic, fiscally-responsible organization. • ecause we have been drifting, we need a person with vision, tact, imagination, and B “A spiritual scholar who warmth who can align our many well-established groups to fulfill our collaborative can work with and vision for a more vital community at St. Thomas. inspire people, especially young families.” • e need a person with spiritual wisdom and empathy to help us resolve issues that W keep us looking backward rather than forward. • e need a spirit-filled person who can help bring relevance, variety, energy and W fellowship to our adult and youth education programs. “Compassionate, thoughtful, approachable, • e need a person who can lead us as we reach out to the surrounding communities, W with good counseling and can inspire and lead our emerging skills.” evangelizing ministry. Top Rector Qualities Finance Manager Adult Education Outreach Fund-raiser Leader Building Lay Leaders Listener Building Congregation Building Fellowship Warmth Orator Collaborative Leader Pastoral Youth Education Spirit-driven The information in this Parish Profile was gathered in March 2009 by means of focus group discussions and a survey. One hundred and forty-one parishioners attended focus groups and 125 parishioners filled out surveys. PAGE 4
  • 7. Our Past and Present St. Thomas is located in the Village of Terrace Park, fifteen miles east of Cincinnati. “We need this parish to Our church was founded in 1876, in a small wooden structure on the banks of the Little establish viable programs Miami River, serving the residents of Terrace Park, Milford, Indian Hill and Miamiville. that integrate with the Photo by Lynn Siegfried community.” In 1901 the congregation built a new church in Terrace Park. The church is located on the very spot that was once Covalt’s Station, a pioneer fort built to defend the first settlers from attack. The nave of the new building was dedicated as a memorial to the daughter of John Robinson, a local landowner who wintered his circus in Terrace Park. We are told that Mr. Robinson’s original proposal called for a frieze of elephants, trunk to tail, all the way around the Photo by Lynn Siegfried interior of the nave. While this never happened, old- The welcoming red doors. timers do remember elephants pulling snow plows on the tree-lined roads of Terrace Park. The church flourished with the growing area population, and the size of the building was increased with additions in 1950 and 1960. A Columbarium was added in 1983, ramps in 1992, and elevators connected all floors in our 2004 addition. By 2002 the church buildings were strained trying to contain a growing num- ber of programs and activities. Ground was broken for a major new structure: a 55,000 square foot, four-storied Parish Building, which opened in 2004. Now, we are grappling with the challenge of maintaining this new facility. Though it brings new opportunities to serve Jesus in our community, our re- Photo by Lynn Siegfried duced numbers and income make its maintenance a burden, and the facility is far from fulfilling its potential for outreach to the surrounding areas. Our newly established Evangelism Ministry is committed to finding ways in which this splendid Our beautiful Parish Hall. facility can serve as a gateway into the St. Thomas church community. St. Thomas today is a deeply committed church with a strong spiritual core, offering a wide range of opportunities for worship, inspiration, instruction and renewal. We have 124 Decorating the tree at Christmas. PAGE 5
  • 8. children enrolled in four new church school programs: the Catechesis of the Good Shep- herd for 3-6 year olds, Faith Explorers for 6-11 year olds, Rite 13 for 12-14 year olds, and Journey to Adulthood for 15-16 year olds. We also offer a youth group for older teens, but it is widely recognized that this program needs more focus and energy. We have a weekly adult education hour from 10:00 to 11:00 between our Sunday morn- ing services. Throughout the year, we also offer several four to six week Wednesday night supper and discussion group series, small study and prayer groups, and special Lenten programs. “We are still here. As St. Thomas has grown, so have the eastern suburbs Photo by Lynn Siegfried We have survived. We have kept the faith.” of Cincinnati. Today, fewer than half our parishioners live in Terrace Park, with growing numbers from Mil- ford (just across the Little Miami River), Indian Hill, Mariemont, Anderson Township, and more rural parts of neighboring Clermont County. There are now four “We need this parish new and growing evangelical churches within five miles to diversify more of St. Thomas that have attracted many of our members, (demographically).” especially our youth. For more information on key aspects of our parish, please see our expanded Parish Profile on our website www.stthomasepiscopal.org. The tunnel in Terrace Park. Our Setting With its tree-lined streets, late 19th century Victorian houses, and kids on bicycles, the Village of Terrace Park has a distinctly Americana feel about it. The village green, grade Photo by John Cascella school, community building and church serve as centers of activity for all its residents. Community activities are relaxed and family oriented, from the Memorial Day and Labor Day parades with marching band, decorated bicycles and costumed pets, to the pumpkin festival in the fall, and lighting of the Village Christmas tree and luminaria in December. It is worth noting that while St. Thomas is not a community church, it is the only church The front entrance of in the Terrace Park community. There is strong feeling among parishioners that St. St. Thomas. Thomas should make a greater effort toward becoming a more central force and presence for the Village of Terrace Park. PAGE 6
  • 9. Terrace Park is part of the Mariemont school district (the neighboring suburb to the west). Mariemont High School has been designated a “National Exemplary School” by the U.S. Department of Education and Terrace Park Elementary has been named both a “National Exemplary” and “Blue Ribbon” school. The Little Miami, a National Scenic River, forms the east- ern and southern boundaries of Terrace Park, providing many miles of fishing and canoeing. Cincinnati, “The Queen City of the West,” has been lavishly praised in previous centuries by Longfellow, Twain, and Dickens (among others) for its “We have a wonderful natural beauty, culture and industry. More recently, it has been mix of church members, and they come together in designated among America’s most livable cities. Cincinnati’s a time of need.” principal feature is, of course, the Ohio River which has carved out the steep hillsides that form the city’s seven hills. The city planners have carefully preserved these tree covered hillsides to create a lovely setting. Across the river is Northern Kentucky, with the Bluegrass Country a short drive away. The Little Miami river. Cincinnati is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. The Diocesan House and Christ Church Cathedral are located in downtown Cincinnati, just 25 minutes away. The proximity encourages clergy and lay involvement in the activities and business of the diocese. The largest employers in the area are Procter & Gamble, General Electric, and the University of Cincinnati. There are eight colleges and universities within a twenty mile radius. Hospital and medical care are second to none. Many feel that Cincinnati’s princi- pal attraction is its remarkable selection of Fine Arts, with an internationally recognized symphony, chamber orchestra, opera, ballet, and the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. The Playhouse in the Park and the The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company offer first-rate traditional theater, with the Ensemble Theater Company provid- ing more contemporary drama. Then there are the Cincinnati Zoo, Art Museum, Natural History Museum and Hamilton County Library – all recognized as among the country’s very finest. And there are major league sports, with the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals! Newcomers are often taken by surprise by the city’s ease of living, its Midwestern openness and welcoming ways, its livable moderate size, easy accessibility, and its high energy citizenry. PAGE 7
  • 10. Our Worship Saturday 5:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Prayers for Healing Sunday 7:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I 9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Prayers for Healing, Children’s Chapel and hospitality hour 10:00 a.m. Sunday School, all ages 11:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I with hospitality hour “I want more joy and Summer Sundays energy in worship.” Saturday: 5:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Prayers for Healing 7:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I 9:00 a.m. Summer Breakfast Hour 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Prayers for Healing Other occasions, Holy days and seasons are celebrated with appropriate liturgies. Taize liturgies are offered several times a year. Sunday worship is central to the life of the parish. It is enriched and inspired by strong lay participation. Ushers, greeters, lectors, acolytes, and chalice bearers serve at most services. There are occasional Choral Evensongs, concerts, and the Festival of Lessons and Carols is sung at Christmas season by the Men & Boys choir. The congregation has expressed a strong desire for more varied worship opportunities; however we do not know exactly what we want. Eighty-five percent of survey participants feel that we should offer some version of a less traditional form of worship. Focus group comments range from needing “a traditional service with new ideas,” “a contemporary Photo by Lynn Siegfried service, if needed,” “more relevant energetic sermons,” “relevant music–not Latin or academic,” “upbeat music I can sing,” to “we need respect for traditional liturgy and ritual,” and “no contem- porary service, please.” We seek a rector who will work collabora- tively with the parish to help us clarify and fulfill this vision. The Nursery School St. Thomas is the home of a well-established and vibrant five day a week preschool program that is an extension of the Church’s outreach ministry. Enrolling 190 children (with a capacity of 205), ages two though five, in morning and after- noon sessions, the school’s mission is to serve the Parish and A special performance by some talented young angels. PAGE 8
  • 11. Photo by Lynn Siegfried surrounding communities by providing excellent preschool education in a Christian environment. There are 22 teachers and staff turn-over is very low. While some of these students are the children of parishioners, others come from area families who are not members of St. Thomas. We realize that our Nursery School is a draw for these families, and we are interested in accepting more Nursery School families as members of St. Thomas. Current Parish Administration and Organization We are blessed with a wonderful full-time staff of five and part-time staff of six. In Meditation room. addition we have three full-time staff of semi-autonomous programs of St Thomas: our Director of Services for Thomaston Woods and our Nursery School Director and her Photo by Lynn Siegfried assistant. We have a loyal and effective corps of volunteers who staff the church office and edit our weekly online bulletin and monthly mailed newsletter, Tidings. The Rev’d. Robert E. Reynolds–Interim Rector The Rev’d. Darby Oliver Everhard–Senior Associate Rector Michael Hrivnak–Director of Music Dr. Connie Golden–Organist Chrissy Hrivnak–Women’s Choir Director Jill Fischer–Parish Administrator Rose Loprest–Ministry Assistant Connie Krebs–Bookkeeper Hospitality hour. Hobert Roberts–Facilities Supervisor Wiley Craft–Sexton Photo by Lynn Siegfried Tina Lytle–Director of Thomaston Meadows and Thomaston Woods Emily Keiser–Nursery School Director Alicia Stanula–Nursery School Assistant Director Brenda Tolliver–Childcare Coordinator Volunteer Staff Two daily office receptionists (15-20 volunteers in total) Alex and Bea Filimonov–Editors of our online and monthly mailed newsletter, Tidings Church school. Pat Matchette–Director of the Senior Singers Karen Long and Vern Thomas–Co-chairs of the Search Committee PAGE 9
  • 12. Vestry Senior Warden–Vern Thomas Junior Warden–Jack Buchholz Treasurer–Chris White 2010 2011 2012 Tim Fening Erinn Monette Zoe Hardy Photo by Lynn Siegfried Rose Marie Luking Carol Peterson Nathan Prather Marvin Quin John Bowers Mary Lou Scott Anna K. Carey Jamie Flerlage Christopher Willoughby Photo by Lynn Siegfried Fellowship before services. Photo by John Cascella A spring Sunday morning. The Rev’d. Robert E. Reynolds, our Interim Rector. PAGE 10
  • 13. Financial Attendance and Sacramental Acts 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Average Sunday Attendance 341 297 275 246 222 Number of Pledging Families 309 275 256 155 182 Total Dollar amount Pledged $758,482 $757,045 $768,715 $730,678 $608,414 Average Pledge $2,455 $2,753 $3,003 $4,714 $3,343 Weekend Eucharists 189 177 178 186 189 Weekday Eucharists 42 17 7 9 14 Photo by John Cascella Private Eucharist Services 171 149 178 225 297 Church School Enrollment 212 201 197 140 124 Baptisms 14 9 13 13 2 Confirmations 23 9 15 5 20 Marriages 2 4 5 4 7 Funerals 9 11 13 14 17 On their way to Church Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Assets school. Cash Basis - as of December 31st 2006 2007 2008* ASSETS Photo by Lynn Siegfried Cash & Short Term Money Market Funds $145,345 $173,437 $174,669 Long Term Investments $774,713 $723,713 $547,812 Property Improvements & Equipment - Net of $9,418,907 $9,174,865 $9,176,709 Accumulated Depreciation Other Assets $407 $407 $407 Total Assets $10,339,372 $10,072,422 $9,899,597 LIABILITIES Loans & Lines of Credit $1,337,422 $1,318,641 $1,336,980 Other Liabilities $2,354 $4,910 $156,750 Total Liabilities $1,339,776 $1,323,551 $1,493,730 NET ASSETS $8,999,596 $8,748,871 $8,405,867 Total Net Assets $8,999,596 $8,748,871 $8,405,867 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS $10,339,372 $10,072,422 $9,899,597 Notes * Diocesan share in 2008 was recorded as a liability and not yet expensed. PAGE 11
  • 14. Statement of Operating Revenue and Expenses Cash Basis - Period Ending December 31st 2006 2007 2008* OPERATING REVENUES Pledges $697,915 $626,097 $562,371 Plate Offerings $40,162 $73,894 $60,243 Other $147,838 $115,033 $141,981 Total Revenue $885,914 $815,024 $764,595 EXPENSES Photo by Lynn Siegfried Staff $539,799 $551,251 $440,594 Administrative $59,543 $66,855 $85,000 Building and Grounds $240,187 $243,234 $129,702 Programs $33,727 $43,871 $50,848 Outreach $255,137 $126,103 $109,743 Total Expenses $1,128,393 $1,031,314 $815,887 Surplus /(Deficit) ($242,479) ($216,289) ($51,292) Notes * Diocesan share in 2008 was recorded as a liability and not yet expensed. Included in Outreach in 2006 and 2007. Small meeting room. 2008 Outreach Youth Developmental Fund Other Outreach Photo by Lynn Siegfried Moutain T.O.P. Nursery School Habitat for Humanity Church school. Friends of the Groom Memorial Concert Inter Parish Ministry PAGE 12
  • 15. Photo by Lynn Siegfried The Hearth Room with its beautiful stained glass window. PAGE 13
  • 16. The mission of St. Thomas Church is to draw all people within our reach into deeper communion with God and each other through Jesus Christ our Lord. We pursue our mission through prayer and worship, the proclamation and teaching of the Gospel, and the promotion of justice, peace, and love. St. Thomas Episcopal Church 100 Miami Avenue Terrace Park, OH 45174 Parish Office Phone: 513.831.2052